Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Slow start on the travel trailer

Well I got a few things taken care of on the travel trailer, the operative word here is few.

I drug the porch out of the utility trailer and got it set up because those folding travel-trailer steps are death-traps!!! Especially when they are slightly caddywhompus, probably because they were left extended once and then whacked sharply against a passing pole or sign or something like that! (Since I'm 100% absolutely sure I'd never do something like that; it could happen. But in this case we're not the first owners and this was actually before my time.)

I didn't bother with a photo of the porch since it has already stared in previous posts.

Then I got started on the hose issue. The guy who moved the trailer for me couldn't get the hose unscrewed from the trailer so it arrived stuffed into a nearby compartment that was then duct-taped shut.

Got to looking at it and decided it was time for a replacement city-water port. In fact I'm going to have to get inside the wall there and dig out the rotted wood and install new blocking before the new one can be installed properly.

While I was at it I checked the cap on the waste tank dump station and found it dripping despite both waste valves being properly closed. This confirmed my suspicion that the valves could also stand replacing.

Amazon to the rescue, (and no I get no revenue from Amazon for mentioning them.) All three items, the water port and 3 &1.5 inch waste valves were in their in-house inventory at a decent price and eligible for free shipping.

Then it was time to get the jack stands working. No not fancy automatic electric or anything like that, just the plain old screw-jack kind that have been around since before I was a kid. These had been locked into place in the damp under the trailer, near the Gulf Coast for over 4 years so it was no surprise they were froze up. (It took the guy moving the trailer a few minutes to remember he could use the tongue jack to get the jack stands out from under there, in the mean time he tried so hard to get them to turn he bent a few if the handles up a little.)

Of course I could have just replaced the set of jack stands but these things cost almost $50 a set (I just bought a set for the greenhouse trailer.) so I retreated to the bench and with a little work which consisted of some serious wire brushing and, in one stubborn case in which I was actually twisting the screw trying to free up the nut, a lot of heating with a torch, I got them all freed up. A little crude hammer and anvil work more or less straightened the handles back out.

Hopefully the generous application of PTFE based lube will help keep them that way.

What you can't see in the quality of the photos above is that between the photo of the rusted and frozen screws laying on the butcher paper soaking up a bit of WD40 and the one of the clean and operable screws laying near the grinder with the wire wheel on it, is that for the 4th time in as many years I threw my camera on the floor. This time it was vibration from me working the screws against the wire brush on the grinder that walked it right off the edge of the workbench. I didn't even know it had happened until my wife walked by and asked if I was filming a bug or something. I looked at her like she was nuts and she asked why else would the camera be laying over there on the floor!

This Cannon SX50 is one tough bird! (No, no endorsement money from Cannon either, just the facts as I know them.) You would think the mechanism involved in zooming a lens from 24mm to 1200mm and keeping all the elements properly aligned and able to focus from 0 to infinity (Yes 0, check out the specs if you don't believe me!) would be pretty delicate, but each time I've thrown this camera on the ground it was on something hard, rocks, asphalt, gravel and this time concrete, and the thing keeps on going!

Though the lens cap finally decided it had had enough of my careless fumbling so it went, on strike this time, refusing to work another day if I couldn't guarantee better conditions, but I hadn't clicked the checkout button yet on the miscellaneous trailer parts and, you guessed it, Amazon had a replace cap, so now all those bits are on their way.

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